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Italian Sausage, Tomato, Zucchini, and Pepper Bruschetta

This Italian Sausage and Pepper Bruschetta is a heartier take on classic tomato bruschetta, and perfect for using up those late summer veggies. 

Italian Sausage, Tomato, Zucchini, and Pepper Bruschetta |

This is down home, hearty, comin’ in from a hard day’s work food.

It’s pickin the last of summer’s harvest, tired bones, weathered skin, worn flannel shirt kind of food.

It’s summer colliding into fall in a mess of tomatoes, zucchini, sausage, and beef.

Italian Sausage, Tomato, Zucchini, and Pepper Bruschetta |

This is one of the first dishes I prepared as a newlywed. I found it in my Betty Crocker Cookbook (Bridal Edition, of course), and thought it seemed simple enough for a newbie like me.

I remember putting everything together, frying up the beef and onions, the smell of the garlic, the thick red tomato sauce binding everything together.

And I remember how proud I was when I served this for dinner. This, my friends, was no Hamburger Helper. This was a real, legit, homemade meal.

And man, was it delicious.

The Mr. and I agreed, this recipe was a definite keeper.

Italian Sausage, Tomato, Zucchini, and Pepper Bruschetta |

Despite it’s successful debut, it’s been years since I made the dish, and I finally decided it was time to revisit it. I have a little more culinary knowledge under my belt now so I felt like I could adapt this for our tastes.

The main change? Substituting Italian sausage for some of the ground beef.

Best. decision. ever.

I love the boost of flavor and warmth Italian sausage adds to a dish, especially this time of year. It ups the hearty quotient of this dish by about a trillion.

This is rich, cozy, fall food. Piled high on a piece of buttery, toasted bread this meal will satisfy a hungry belly in the best of ways.

Though the recipe below uses canned tomatoes, you can certainly substitute the last of your garden’s tomatoes instead. Still have zucchini? A few more bell peppers? Carrots or celery? Throw them in too. Use the leftovers as a thick sauce for pasta or even as a pizza topping with lots of mozzarella cheese.

Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Bell Pepper Bruschetta |

This dish only takes about 30 minutes to make, so you can throw it together on a dark chilly evening then have plenty of time to cozy up with a blanket and a good movie.

I think I’m going to like this whole fall thing.

Skillet Beef and Vegetable Bruschetta

Prep Time 15 minsPrep Time
Cook Time 15 minsCook Time
Total Time 30 mins Total Time
Yields 6


  • 6 large slices or 12 small slices sourdough bread
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into strips
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 small zucchini cut into strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, juice drained and reserved
  • 16 oz. spaghetti sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to broil. Melt the butter in the microwave in a heat proof bowl. Add the oil and stir to combine. Brush both sides of the bread with butter mixture then place them on a tray 4-6 inches under the broiler. Broil for 1-2 minutes on the first side, until golden brown. Flip, and broil for an additional 1-2 minutes until golden and crispy on both sides. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and add ground beef, Italian sausage, onion, and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes. Add zucchini and garlic cloves and cook an additional 2-4 minutes or until beef and sausage are browned. Drain any fat from the skillet.
  3. Stir diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce into the mixture and sprinkle everything with the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1-2 additional minutes, until heated through. If mixture seems too thick, add reserved tomato juice.
  4. To serve, place toasted bread slices on plates and top with beef mixture. Knife and fork it!


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Adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook
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  • Nancy September 17, 2013, 12:14 PM

    I love this post, Courtney. Fall is my favourite season and just reading your words and descriptions of how you’re feeling makes me all cozy inside. Now if only this tasty bruschetta could magically appear in front of me right now. Life would be perfect!

  • Climbing Grier Mountain September 18, 2013, 1:29 PM

    I’m drooling over here!!! Can I come over? I’ll bring some beers!

  • DessertForTwo September 19, 2013, 9:47 PM

    I love worn flannel shirt food! This looks great 🙂

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